Tvorognaya zapekanka

 Tvorognaya zapekanka literally means a cottage cheese bake. This is a very special treat for me. It reminds my childhood and good time when I was going to the kinder-garden. Some of my friends do not share the same nice memories about the food in a kinder-garden, and even few of them hate any cottage cheese bakes (and not only bakes) and don’t want to believe that it can be so tasty! Thank God, I was luckier and remember not only huge onion chunks in a beef stew 😀 but also good meals, like this sweet cottage cheese bake and delicious plum jam.
 Speaking about tvorog (that’s how we called cottage cheese or farmer cheese in Russia, and it can be both smooth and chunky), I do like it and consume regularly: either as is or adding it to the apple pies and cabbage bakes. So, I’ve tried hundred times to make a bake somewhat childish, and every time it was too liquid or too sweet.. Finally, here it is! The bake is perfect! The only notice, maybe next time I will use a smaller baking dish to make the cottage cheese bake higher.
Russian cottage cheese bake

Russian sweet cottage cheese bake

  • Servings: 3-4
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If you’ve got a chunky and dry cottage cheese – push it through a sieve or stir with electric blender into a smooth mixture.
IngredientsCottage cheese bake
450-500g cottage cheese
40g butter, melted
2 medium eggs
3 tbsp white caster sugar
2 tbsp semolina (I used coarse, but fine is ok, too)
2-3 tbsp milk, warm
3 tbsp sour cream
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or any other vanilla
50g raisins/currants
Glaze (optional)
1 egg yolk
1tsp icing sugar
sour cream or sweet condensed milk
icing sugar, if desired
  • In a small cup, soak semolina in warm milk for 5 minutes. Add sour cream and mix well.
  • In a other small cup, soak raisins in hot black tea or water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat eggs with sugar and salt until pale and creamy, allow sugar to dissolve.
  • In a large bowl, smooth cottage cheese with a folk or electric blender, add butter and mix. Add beaten eggs and vanilla, mix to combine. Add semolina and raisins, and combine.
  • Grease the baking dish with some butter or oil, pour the mixture in and bake in preheated 200C oven for 25 minutes. At this step check the color of your bake: if its top is still pale, brush the bake with glaze and put the dish back into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden-brown; if top is already golden-brown, omit the glaze and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
  • Cut the cottage cheese bake into slices. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. It’s also tasty to pour over some sweet condensed milk (instead of sour cream).


  1. Yana says:

    OMG!!! It’s like an explosion of the nicest memories for me!!!! 🙂 …. about ‘sadik’ (kinder-garden), about my Grandmother.. My grandma was a chief-chef in my kinder-garden and she was a brilliant cook, and I’m saying so not just because we were related 🙂 but because she had a true passion for food, she loved to feed people with some scrumptious food! So, I have only the best memories of my kinder-garden and variety, and quality of food we had there! Awh, I want to have a slice of your zapekanki right now! :))

    • milkandbun says:

      It’s such a sweet comment, Yana! I wish I could send you this bake. OR we should create a virtual tea-party.. 🙂
      You were really lucky that your grandma worked there, coz not every child has the same nice memories. 🙂

  2. heycakes says:

    Oh similar memories here! To make it a complete kinder garden classic I would pair it with kissel or kampot 🙂

    I haven’t eaten this for like a million years! Time to change this as I absolutely love cottage cheese. Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories.

  3. trixpin says:

    Lovely photos! I’ve never tried anything quite like this.
    One of the most contentious childhood puddings over here is rice pudding (and variants like sago and tapioca). I think a lot of people hate it because they used to have it at school where it was often watery and slimey … ugh. I remember hating it at school, mostly because the jam they put with it was weird, but I love it now 🙂

    • milkandbun says:

      I’m also wondering why those cooks in KG were so unpro, or may be they were too tired from their jobs , and that’s why some food were not-tasty.. 😦
      I was thinking about to make rice pudding.. and already bough a short-grain rice for it. I’ve boiled the rice to try, but it smelled like a stale cabbage! ugh! can you imagine?!
      Anyway, how do you make rice pudding? bake it? 🙂

      • trixpin says:

        Sometimes bake it, sometimes cook it on the hob. I don’t make it really often so I can’t suggest a favourite method, but I WOULD suggest not using rice that smells like cabbage!! Ugh, poor you!

    • milkandbun says:

      Thank you for coming and commenting, Cathleen! I’m really glad you liked my photography! If you would like to get my updates -you may subscribe by email. 🙂
      Have a lovely week!

      • Hi Mila. I make my own tvorog and then add sugar, eggs, raisins, and vanilla. Blend everything together and pour into a baking pan that I buttered and covered with plain bread crumbs, then I spread sour cream on top of the mixture, and bake it for 1 hr 25 mins. I tried adding other ingredients to it once, but I find that less is more 🙂

    • milkandbun says:

      This bake is more everyday treat for a tea; children eat it pretty often (it contains lots of Calcium). We also eat it for a breakfast, if have time and desire to make it. 🙂

  4. What an interesting recipe for me to try! I’ve never had cottage cheese baked but remember when I was young that my mother would serve us cottage cheese and fresh fruits for dinner when it was too hot to cook (no air conditioning in those days). It always seemed like having desert instead of dinner so it was a lot of fun.
    I remember school lunches are not being very good because they made everything from cans and cooked all of the lunches at the same time – so if you had first lunch for example, things like spinach or canned peas weren’t too bad but the poor kids who had 3rd lunch got the soggiest food that had been sitting in hot water for almost 2 hours.

    • milkandbun says:

      We didn’t have canned veggies at school, but I remember some school lunches were cold and tasteless..
      I often eat cottage cheese mixed with sour cream or Greek yogurt for breakfast, plus honey or sugar, and berries, if available. Yummy! 🙂

  5. MyKabulKitchen says:

    I love desserts made with cheese, this looks so interesting and unique…will have to try it, thanks for sharing the sweet memories behind this dessert 🙂

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